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Help make UW the Big Ten champs — in giving blood

The University of Wisconsin-Madison will compete in the inaugural American Red Cross Big Ten Blood Drive Challenge, which started Jan. 19 and will conclude on Friday, Feb. 19.

The challenge pits all 11 Big Ten schools against each other to see who can donate the most blood in a month.

“This is a hard time of year for us to collect blood,” says Tara Warden, representative of the local Red Cross Blood Services region. “This is one way we thought we could really encourage students to come make an extra effort to donate.”

The highlight of the UW-Madison campus blood drives, which are co-sponsored by the UW-Madison American Red Cross Club, is the annual Bucky’s Big Ten Blood Drive from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 9 and 10, at Ogg Hall, 835 W. Dayton St.

Last year, during the two-day period, the Red Cross collected 343 pints of blood. This year, the Red Cross aims to collect 450 pints during the two days, a goal Warden believes the campus will surpass.

All available appointment times on Feb. 9 and 10 have been claimed, but the Red Cross will try to accommodate walk-ins. However, walk-ins could face significant wait times.

People without appointments are encouraged to donate at one of the other campus blood drives before Feb. 19, where donations will also count toward the challenge. All blood drives are open to the public, and donors must be at least 17 years old.

“It’s easy to be a part of and you could be helping save someone’s life by donating blood,” says UW-Madison Red Cross Club secretary Laura Reich.

Other Big Ten Challenge blood drives on campus are:

– 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 5, YoungBlood at Wisconsin Lutheran Chapel and Student Center, 220 W. Gilman St.

– 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 11, YoungBlood at Gordon Commons, 717 W. Johnson St.

– Noon-6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 11, Upper Carson Gulley, near Tripp-Adams Hall.

– 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 12, YoungBlood at Wisconsin Lutheran Chapel and Student Center, 220 W. Gilman St.

– 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 18, YoungBlood at Gordon Commons, 717 W. Johnson St.

– Noon-6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 19, Elizabeth Waters, 1200 Observatory Drive.

The Red Cross set 7,000 pints as the collective donation goal among all participating schools. Trophies go to the universities with the highest number of blood donations, the highest percentage of student population donating blood and the highest percent of goal achievement, to be determined by the school blood drive goal and the actual number of pints donated.

To make an appointment, sign up at http://www.givebloodgivelife.org or call 800-448-3543. Students interested in volunteering at one of the blood drives can e-mail the UW-Madison American Red Cross Club at buckyvolunteers@gmail.com.

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